Work permits lost over drugs

Serious consequences for ‘stupid’ offence

Three foreign nationals found themselves in court this week facing drugs charges.

On Tuesday a British citizen pleaded guilty to possession and consumption of cocaine. Upon hearing that Ashley Jardine would not now be able to pursue his plans to become a police officer in the UK, Chief Magistrate Margaret Ramsay-Hale commented, “A career for a snort? I think that’s giving up too much for too little.”

“Your right to remain in Cayman comes to an end,” she told Jardine, 23. “Work permits are not issued to people who have convictions.”

Defence Attorney James Stenning told the court Jardine was remorseful and had admitted his offending was “a stupid thing”. The attorney submitted that the long-term impact on Jardine’s career was punishment in itself. In addition, he had been unable to work since being charged.

His offences occurred on 5 April. Police stopped a vehicle they saw speeding on the West Bay Road. Jardine was a passenger.

The officers had cause to request a search; they found powder in his shirt pocket. It was analysed and turned out to be cocaine with a weight of .048 of a gram. Mr. Stenning suggested this was a trace amount.

The magistrate fined him $750 for each offence. He was given until Friday to pay the total $1,500 if he could provide a local surety meanwhile. Jardine had been working for a construction company.

Following his appearance the magistrate dealt with an American and German citizen, Martin Deutsch Holfeld, 28, and Alexander Pierce Jacobberger, 25.

“What a heavy price to pay,” she told the pair who lost their jobs in Cayman after being arrested for consuming ganja.

Holfeld said he had worked as front desk manager at a hotel on Seven Mile Beach. Jacobberger worked at the same hotel in another capacity. They pleaded guilty to consuming ganja after being seen on Seven Mile Beach in the vicinity of the West Bay Cemetery on 30 March. The ganja in Holfeld’s possession was .251 of a gram.

Asked why they had involved themselves with an illegal substance, Holfeld replied, “Just stupidity.”

The magistrate told the men, “I’m not sure I would choose a stick of weed over my career, my reputation, my work permit.”

She fined them each $500 for consumption. Holfeld received another $500 fine for possession.


  1. To the Editor – re my letter to the Editor of last week re 6 days without incoming email messages from LIME (Cable & Wireless). I want to say thank you publicly to Twayne Foster, the capable and knowledgable Cable & Wireless communications executive on Cayman Brac, who immediately repaired the message transmission after I called our local Cayman Brac office. Having dealth with the Internet Help Desk for 5 days of "outage" and non-receipt of incoming messages, and they were helpless, useless, and simply said "we’re working on the issue" – it was Twayne Foster at Stake Bay office who immediately repaired the problem. Had I called our local office at first sign of problem, undoubtedly I would not have had to go through the worry of not receiving any incoming messages for 6 days. Thank you, Twayne Foster! We are indeed fortunate to have the best of LIME/Cable&Wireless staff here on the Brac! Nan Socolow, Cayman Brac

  2. I am not aware of these young men’s past histories but it seems to me that to have their lives litterally ruined by what are such miniscule amounts of drugs is a travesty. I have the greatest respect for Magistrate Ramsey-Hale however there must be some precedent and/or option to allow for leniency.

    Dont get me wrong I dont condone their actions, but for 1/25 and 1/50 of a gram this seems drastic. Random drugs tests could be made a part of the stipulation to keeping their work permits.

    Just my view.

  3. Entirely disagree beach boy. What we are talking about here is COCAINE. not a pot, or a mushroom violation (which is grown by god). But an illegal substance, the world over. To make light of cocaine posession leads to acceptance to cocaine posession.

  4. Big berd let me get this straight. You are saying that "pot" and "mushroom" are okay since they are "grown by god". Is that correct?? If that is the case then so is "cocaine" as it is an alkaloid obtained from the leaves of the coca plant.

    Im not going to argue semantics but I still think that such small amounts should not warrant deportation.

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